Monthly Archives: December 2013

Tasty Tuesday: St. Louis edition

Merry Christmas to all that celebrate! There has been plenty of cookie making in my holiday schedule, but I’m behind on food posts. Time to catch up!

I spent a fair amount of energy on my St. Louis trip looking for a good Gooey Butter Cake. Remember this guy? I wanted to try the real thing while I was there. We ended up buying two different cakes and were disappointed in both of them! The cake bottom was more like a danish on the first one, and the second one was kind of dry and had a strong almond taste. There was one that Lucas’s family really liked, but the bakery had closed down. Oh, well. I gave it the ole college try.

But, I did get to go to White Castle! I had never been before. I had a little cheese sandwich, a fish sandwich, and a “chicken ring” sandwich. And you know, just okay. I was tempted to buy the White Castle collectible candle for my parents. They are HUGE fans of “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle”. Also, they are not stoners. Once my Mom’s boss borrowed their DVD, but when it had been awhile before it was returned, they bought. another. copy.

That’s Wiley, Clay, Lucas and Anna. I won’t lie, the hamburgers looked a little gross. But I also don’t eat hamburgers.

I also got to try St. Louis style pizza. We got a take-out pie from Imo’s. As promised, the pie has an unleavened crust. Also, slightly sweet tomato sauce, and Provel cheese. It tasted like it was a mix of Velveeta cheese on top of a cracker. And cut into rectangles.

Not my favorite style of pizza. But you know, it’s still pizza. So pretty much delicious. Somehow I ate almost the whole pizza that we were supposed to be splitting. And we had just had dinner and dessert.

Now, the best food experience that I had, was Ted Drewes. I am pretty much obsessed with frozen custard. I go to Sheridan’s while at home and stop at any other place while visiting. In Los Angeles we recently got a Rita’s (originally from Philadelphia). They are known for Italian ice, but all of the different ice/custard combinations is a little confusing and overwhelming. Top Round, a roast beef restaurant recently opened and it has frozen custard, but I haven’t made it yet.

Anyway, Ted Drewes is a legend and I am so glad we made the effort to go out there! I had a mocha custard with Heath bar in it.

The day before we had gone to the St. Louis Art Museum. They have an exhibit by Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock. We had just seen this image:

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That’s Ted Drewes in the Max Beckmann panel. A real landmark!

Why am I always eating frozen custard when it is freezing outside!?

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FO: Oslo Walk Shawl

It was so nice meeting Lucas’s grandmother, that I really wanted to make her something. It took some discussion with both Lucas and his Mom to come up with a plan.

I was told that she would want a dark colored little neck thing to be worn during the winter. And also that she likes sparkle. This is what I came up with:

My Rav page here.

Start Date: Dec. 5, 2013

Finish Date: Dec. 15, 2013

Pattern: Oslo Walk Shawl by Susanna IC from Interweave Knits, Winter 2010.

Yarn: 100% cashmere laceweight from Wildfiber in Santa Monica, only 22grams (350 yds) used.

Needles: US6

Mods: None really. I did an extra purl row after the cast-on, just to make my life easier. I used 8/0 glass TOHO in Metallic Teal Green Iris.

Usually my size 12 steel crochet hook fits through this size of beads, but it wasn’t consistently this time. And then I tried to force it, and I broke my tiny crochet hook. Then I had to frantically try to find a replacement. I bought a 14, and it worked okay, but it split the yarn a little too much, and still didn’t fit through all beads. I used the floss method for a while, but I couldn’t get a good rhythm going. I was looking on this site for other tips. Maybe for my next project I need to try the Fleegle beader! It all worked out and once I was able to get my new hook, the rest of the shawl zipped by.

I wanted my bind-off to be firm to keep the structure of the crescent. I didn’t want it all floppy and curling at the top. But my bind-off ended up pretty tight, even with binding off loosely. I did end up redoing it to be a little looser. I was a little torn because I wanted it to hold its shape, but with such a light gauzy shawl the edge felt a little tight and contrasted the body of the shawl. I didn’t come up with a solution I totally liked, but that’s okay. It was a pretty quick project and I think it looks nice.

I hope Lucas’s Nana loves it!

Maxine and Mary are performing a little musical number here!

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St. Louis Trip Wrap-Up

I went to St. Louis with Lucas for Thanksgiving this year.  It is the first time I’ve done any traveling for Thanksgiving in about 9 years.  And the first time I got to meet his grandmother and other family members.  And it was so much fun!  Somehow we managed to not check in for our flights (Southwest, too!) until about 14 hours after check-in was available.  But we lucked out and were able to sit together on all of our flights.

Check out this crazy painting on the wall at LAX.  Yes, LAX airport!

Just one of a number of pieces in one art installation at the airport.  More on the installations here.  This painting reminds me of the movie MacGruber.  I guess it was a theatrical bomb in 2010, but I think the movie is amazing.  And Will Forte is so hot right now! 🙂

I was able to finish Lucas’s scarf before we touched down in St. Louis.  Hopefully better pictures later!

The real highlight of the trip was meeting all of the family.  But I don’t have any pictures of that, so let’s move on!

We went to the City Museum, which I have been hearing about for years.  The museum is pretty bananas.  It has also been described as the perfect place for child abductions.  It is a free-form play area with tunnels and slides and just a bunch of crazy shit.  It makes me think of the 1970s, though it is much newer than that.

Railings made out of old bobbins:

In case it is not clear, you can climb all through those metal tunnels.  Like in this beautiful shot!

There’s an outdoor area with tunnels like 80 feet up in the air!  I risked losing my phone for these shots:

My knees were not happy with all of the crawling.  Yikes.  Also, I started to rip the back pockets off my pants from all the sliding and stuff.

Hipstamatic picture of Wiley:

And of Clay and Anna:

They sell old Twinkie pans!

 

I would have bought one, but they were too big to fit in my oven and not quite big enough to be a statement piece in my home.  And I would have had to figure out how to get it home on the plane.

The City Museum was everything I had hoped for!

Oh, and we barely had enough time for me to see the Arch.  I didn’t go up in it, just ran up the steps to the base of it, Rocky-style.

From far away:

And extremely close-up.  I never hit the sweet photography spot…

More about the food next week!

How is the gift knitting going?  I just need to make some mittens still…

 

 

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Spinnerin #166 His and Hers

Time for another look inside a vintage knitting booklet!

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This one has sweaters for both males and females. What I love most about this one are the photographs! Some have an awesome tilt-shift like effect that makes them look like miniatures! (Btw, I love miniatures and there used to be a Museum of Miniatures in Los Angeles but it closed before I moved here. Including a tiny version of the O.J. Simpson trial courtroom!!)

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I pretty much love everything about that photo. The focus, her sweater and the way he has a cigarette in his mouth and ski poles in his hand!

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If I didn’t want to keep this booklet for the patterns I would tear out these pages and frame them!

At first glance, I thought this sweater was kind of ugly, but after looking at it more, I think I love it! It’s pretty crazy on him, but as an oversized sweater on her, it looks pretty awesome. It is actually embroidered after the knitting is done if I remember correctly.

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Sigh, so many patterns, so little time! I am still trying to crank through my gift knitting. The beading is done on that shawl, so it should speed up now…

I also finally bought the Perfect Christmas Jumper pattern and am obsessed with the idea of making it for Christmas. And…that’s impossible. But I could use my Mom’s knitting machine for the back when I am home…

Anyone else in over their heads?

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FO: Waneka Cowl

I am at a place in both of my knitting projects where everything is conspiring against me.  I broke my tiny crochet hook for beading and am stalled on that.  I can’t find a store that carries them.  I can’t find the right contrast yarn for a pair of mittens because the first one I had is slightly too thick so I knit half a mitten and found out they are too big.  And both of these projects are holiday knitting, so I can’t just put them aside to work on something for me.  I am trying to use the floss threader thing for my beading, but the rhythm just isn’t catching.    Gah!

But before this knitting slump of the last week, I did finish some small items.  Photos are a little patchy, but we’ll make do.

Rav page here

Pattern: Waneka by Annie Watts

Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Mix Tape, about .8 balls.

Needles: US 11

I spent about the whole time I knit this second guessing it.  The pattern is a series of I-cords knit together.  The stitches on the needles get insanely loose.  I was worried this was because I wasn’t pulling my I-cord tight enough.  But it turns out that that is how it is supposed to be, and the stacks of rings kind of flop over and cover the loose stitches between.  I wish I could have just trusted that during the knitting instead of feeling like I was spending time on something that was going to have to be ripped out. In this picture of the back, you can see some of those loose stitches on the bottom green section.

If I had to do it over, I might use a slightly smaller needle.  It also helps to use bamboo needles or something a little sticky instead of the Boye aluminum needles that I used.  But I wasn’t about to buy new needles.  I would also recommend using rubber bands or little needle stoppers when you switch to DPNs because those loose stitches love to just slip right off.

I did seven total rings, but I think I had enough yarn to do 8.  The height turned out well though.  I haven’t blocked the cowl in any of these pictures, so some of those blips of bleed-through color from decreases might recede.

I took these crummy self pictures and was so sure that I would get better pictures later.  But the pictures that I had someone take were even less flattering, even in natural light.

I want you to know that my hair is slight wet, not super greasy here…  The inside of the cowl has a pretty cool look with those elongated stitches.

I hope my knitting mojo turns itself around this week.  I can’t handle any more gift knitting setbacks!  This cowl was part of the Indie Designer Gift-a-long on Ravelry, but it is all mine!

 

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FO: Clair de Lune

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!  I went to St. Louis with Lucas’s family and had a great time!  I have pictures to show you later.  But before I left I finished up my Clair de Lune swingy cardigan.  These photos were taken right after my work Thanksgiving potluck party.  In full bloat mode. 🙂

My Rav project page here.

Pattern: Clair de Lune by Carol Sunday

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Sagebrush, a little more than 5 skeins.

Needles: US 6

Start Date: October 24, 2013

Finish Date:  November 24, 2013

Notes: I wanted my sweater to be a little smaller than the pattern called for.  It looks beautiful on a dress form, but in some of the project pictures it was apparent that it was a really long sweater.  The fronts draped almost down to the knees.  I knit mine at a much tighter gauge (20 sts/4 ins instead of 14 sts.)  I also used fingering weight yarn instead of sport weight.  This made the front panels less wide.  I knit to the length measurements of the smallest size for the fronts.  The piece is knit side to side, so this also served to make the front flaps a little smaller.

As I continued with the sleeves and back, I used the medium numbers (my actual size) to make sure that the armholes weren’t too tight.  Because I had a tighter gauge they are still smaller than in the original pattern.  For the back measurement, I believe I used the same as my actual size, but I did try it on to make sure it was time to start the second sleeve.

Other than that, no real changes.  The lace pattern looks complicated, but it is really only a four row repeat so it became easy to memorize.  I pretty much loved making this sweater.  I was totally stoked on it the whole time, which doesn’t always happen.  I can’t say that I love it as much now that it is finished, but I am still really pleased with it.  Maybe the style isn’t as super flattering as I hoped it would be.  I might even try it closed and belted in the future.

Oh, and the pattern doesn’t say to sew up the top of the sleeves, but you do have to.

Now I’m knitting little things and gift things, but I am definitely plotting my next sweater!

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